July 28, 2010
Troyniko McNeil was acquitted Monday of the November 2007 murder of well-known handbag designer Harl Taylor.
The 37-year-old handbag designer was found dead in his bedroom at Mountbatten House, on West Hill Street, with multiple stab wounds on November 18, 2007. After some three hours of deliberation, the jury returned shortly before 8 o’clock last night with a not guilty verdict, 9-3, on the charge of murder.
McNeil’s father, Troy McNeil, who was a former business partner of Harl Taylor shouted, “Thank you, Jesus!” and raced out of the courtroom immediately after the verdict was handed down. Moments later his son, visibly relieved, left the courtroom a free man, swarmed by family and friends.
Last July, McNeil’s three-week long first trial ended in a hung jury. When asked what may have made the difference this time around McNeil’s attorney Murrio Ducille said, “The difference is we have very sensible jurors who were listening to the case and who were not motivated by sentiments, but the hard cold facts, dealing with the evidence based on what was presented in court and not what they may have heard on the outside. The system does work and that’s really what counts.”
Mr Ducille noted that the jurors had to consider technical evidence from DNA experts and that the case was substantially based on circumstantial evidence. “It was very important that the jury listen to the facts and relate it,” said Mr Ducille.
“My son has been vindicated and rightfully so. I think we can now pick up the pieces and move on with our lives,” Troy McNeil told reporters Monday. When asked what his son’s future plans are, Mr McNeil said, “My son is definitely going to go to university. It won’t be in the United States obviously until we get that situation resolved but either Canada or England.
“He wants to pursue a degree in medicine and I will encourage and stick by him 110 per cent in achieving that. He has lost three years of his life unnecessarily and I will stick by him to ensure that he can move on comfortably with his life,” Mr McNeil said.
Taylor’s mother, Beverly Taylor, declined to comment after the verdict was handed down. Mr McNeil said that he has no problems with Ms Taylor, noting that she has been like a mother to him and he has been like a son to her over the years.
“Her grieving Harl’s loss is just the same as myself. Harl and I were very close. We were business partners for almost ten years, he was a true friend to me. I feel as well, but get the right person,” Mr McNeil said.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Franklyn Williams and Basil Cumberbatch prosecuted the case, which was heard before senior Justice Jon Isaacs.
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News date : 07/28/2010 Category : Tribune Stories